After almost 50 years together, Monty Python bid farewell in appropriate fashion: with a sing-along of their decidedly tongue-in-cheek song, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
The song, which was originally performed during the final crucifixion scene from their hilarious (if heretical) film, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, was a fitting end to a long career for the influential and iconic comedy troupe.
The surviving members of the group — which included Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Graham Chapman, who passed away in 1989 — reunited for a 10-night series of performances billed as a “pre-posthumous memorial service” with the tag line “Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go.” The Python members said that this would be the final time they performed together, a pronouncement that helped the wildly-popular and well-respected troupe sell out London’s 20,000-seat capacity O2 Arena in a staggering 43.5 seconds. Another nine dates were added, which also quickly sold out.
Their final performance, which took place on July 20th, was recorded for a live, worldwide theatrical telecast, which more than 700,000 tuned in to watch, according to a statement by UK comedy channel Gold, which hosted the broadcast. A DVD of the performance is reportedly in the works.
To end their final performance and mark their remarkable 40-plus-year career, the Pythons chose to go out with a swan song joined on stage by Mike Myers, Harry Shearer and others eager to pay their respects to the group and lift their voice in song alongside the Pythons. As “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” ended, the beloved troupe took their final bow and a screen displayed, “Monty Python, 1969 – 2014,” leaving fans the barest hope that in true Python fashion, they’re not dead yet.